Right to Left Language Support?

Hello folks,

I switch between English and Arabic on Scriv, I can’t seem to be able to find an option where I can select a particular paragraph to flow from Right to Left? I tried selecting some text and then right clicking to see if I had the native Mac option for “Writing Direction,” but nothing shows up.

Is there a solution to this I’m unaware of?

Thank you.

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Tried this?

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Oh nice, thank you @sobs. That did half the trick, strange problem that is still persisting even after selecting the above options is that speech marks are still reversed? Text is following right to left no problem, but when quoting, the speech marks are still whacked, any ideas?

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Just a suggestion to try: set up an Arabic paragraph style with font, RTL etc. selected. Give it a shortcut, so it’s easy to go back and forth between that and your other language. I would hope that doing it that way might set your speech marks to what is appropriate.

I use Chinese so although the issues are slightly different, as it isn’t RTL for me, it is enough to have a character style.




Hello @xiamenese and thanks for your response. If nothing, your answer at least made me go and set up a paragraph style which is very useful so thank you for that. Unfortunately it didn’t solve the reverse quotation marks for me although I have found a simple solution: I just type them in reverse order now and they work fine lol, which is no biggie at all, I have the same problem in Word. I did try every Arabic keyboard layout but it seems to go against what is printed on the keys on the Mac keyboard, so that is no biggie now.


Good to hear it is working for you.

I suspect that the operating system is using smart quotes but isn’t smart enough to switch appropriately between the languages. Know nothing about quotation marks in Arabic, but in English correct quotation marks can be keyed directly (without relying on smart quotes):

Single left

Single right and apostrophe

Double left

Double right

Although it seems you already have a working solution.

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Thank you for those shortcuts, they’re useful to be aware of, although I just tried them and they didn’t work for the Arabic. All good now though.

Thank you all again.

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@sobs is correct. On the Mac, smart quotes are set by the OS, not by Scrivener itself.

Another alternative to keying in the quotes manually would be to use straight quotes throughout instead.

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Thanks @kewms, I don’t like straight quotes, for now the workaround is fine.